New mayor of London Sadiq Khan says Boris’ failure to deliver enough affordable homes presents a ‘shocking challenge’
Immediately after taking office Khan had asked officials to produce an urgent audit of the council’s preparedness to tackle the housing crisis.
The research showed that ’the delivery of affordable homes is at a near standstill’ and under Boris Johnson only 4,880 were built last year – the lowest level since records began in 1991.
Of those only 738 were built for social rent, claimed Khan. This is down by 94 per cent from four years earlier when 11,370 were completed.
According to statement from the Greater London Authority (GLA) issued on 16 May, the result revealed a ‘shocking challenge’.
Khan, who has pledged raise the levels of affordable homes being built in the capital to 50 per cent, hit out at London’s previous mayor Boris Johnson for ‘leaving the cupboard bare’ in terms of the delivery of affordable housing.
Khan’s audit also revealed a ‘flawed process’ of identifying public land for homes. What Johnson had dubbed as a ‘Doomsday Book of public land’ had included scores of sites which could never be built on including 10 Downing Street, City Hall and the British Museum.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s statement in full
‘London gave me the opportunity to go from the council estate where I grew up to being able to buy a family home we could afford. But today, too many Londoners are being priced out of our city.
‘One of the first things we did when we got to City Hall was open the books and look at what was already in the pipeline and it seems the previous mayor has grossly let down Londoners by leaving the cupboard bare when it comes to delivering affordable housing.
‘I am determined to fix London’s housing crisis and ensure that all Londoners have the opportunity to rent or buy a decent home at a price they can afford, but the scale of the challenge is now clearer than ever and we’re not going to be able to turn things around overnight.
‘We will be outlining our plans in the coming months, but one of the first things we can do is work with Transport for London to fast-track their numerous surplus sites for development that have previously just been sat on.
‘There is no doubt we have our work cut out, but I plan to personally get to grips with the mess that has been left behind and will insist on far higher levels of affordable housing in new developments.’